NOW that schools are about to open soon, Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio expressed her disapproval of school uniforms.
I beg to disagree.
Army and police uniforms create confidence and expectations on their functions and discipline. We learn early on to respect our people in uniform.
Same thing for officers of the court as lawyers and judges where they follow a dress code when they perform their official functions.
Same thing with those in the medical profession.
We may not know them as individuals but we honor their uniforms. For soldiers they are expected to salute superior officers.
Obviously, these social obligations were ingrained in us early starting when we entered our schools.
Should our kids wear a school uniform?
One of the many benefits of wearing school uniforms for children is that they create a sense of identity and unity among school students. When children wear a similar uniform daily, they will have a similar identity and they won’t compete over who wears expensive or fashionable clothes. Children who cannot afford to wear expensive clothes won’t feel insecure if there is a uniform.
Not having to decide what to wear on a daily basis in the morning can save a lot of time for children and they can get ready soon. It will save a lot of time and energy.
When all the kids are dressed in the same clothes it is difficult to establish their economic background. Uniforms create a sense of equality among kids, which makes them mingle with each other without bothering about their economic and social status.
When there are fewer distractions and lesser concerns on the way one looks, a child can spend more time doing schoolwork.
Buying school uniforms for kids is more economical than buying an entire wardrobe for the season. Also, the school uniforms are made from stronger and better fabric, which means they can stand repeated washing and everyday wear and tear better than normal clothes. This also means that a few sets of uniforms can be sufficient to sail effectively throughout the entire academic year.
Apart from various other reasons, clothes are one of the major reasons for bullying in school. However, wearing the same clothes or uniform helps in ensuring that there is no discrimination on the basis of clothes or how a particular child dress up.
Schools that do not have school uniforms for the students have to make dress code policies. This can include various aspects such as deciding on the type or length of the skirt, the kind of shoes or footwear appropriate for school, the kind of shorts or pants that boys should wear in schools, etc. This can be quite tedious.
Having a uniform for children can save time as all kids will wear a similar uniform and there will be no need for a dress code policy.
When students wear uniforms, it becomes easier for the teachers to find out who is an outsider and who should not be on the school premises. It also discourages gang affiliations in school, which is usually evident by the color of the clothes.
When on a field or off-campus trips, it becomes easier for the teacher to keep a tab on the students when they are dressed in their school uniforms. It also reduces the chances of students going missing because anyone going away from the campus can be identified easily by the teacher or even by passersby.
They can develop their individuality and independent training by creating new knowledge and challenging orthodoxy not in the clothes they wear.
The hippie of yesterday now learn to dress up while pursuing their dissent in suits.
July 19, 2022
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